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Black Holes & Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy (Commonwealth Fund Book Program) Paperback – 2 May 1995

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; New e. edition (2 May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393312763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393312768
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 119,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This excellent mixture of history, science, and opinion introduces the reader to general relativity and its consequences, with emphasis on black holes. Little is omitted in discussing the concepts and personalities involved. Thorne's passion for the subject comes through in an accessible writing style rare among research scientists. "

A masterpiece of scientific writing for a lay audience. "

An accessible, deftly illustrated history of curved spacetime....a model of style, format and illustration. "

Readers seeking to go beyond today's headlines will not find a higher authority (or a better storyteller) to discuss the cosmos's most bizarre features.... Masterful and intriguing. --Marcia Bartusiak"

Deeply satisfying.... [An] engrossing blend of theory, history, and anecdote.

Among the best of [its] genre to appear in recent years.--Malcolm W. Browne

Superb. It is what many other books about their subject ought to have been and were not.... I think the book itself will be a strong force.--Carl Sagan

Black Holes & Time Warps reveals the scientific enterprise as very few books do; it richly overflows with history, modern physics, the excitement of discovery, and rare, firsthand scientific styles and temperaments. --Alan Lightman

About the Author

Kip Thorne is the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech, an executive producer for Interstellar, and the author of books including the bestselling Black Holes and Time Warps. He lives in Pasadena, California. Stephen W. Hawking is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and in 2009 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.


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Format: Paperback
Kip Thorne worked long on this book (originaly published in 1993), but the result is worth his and the readers effort. Both history of science and popular science - written by someone who participated in some of the discoveries it describes - this tells the tale of the mathematical discovery of black holes, the opposition to the idea of a lot of eminent scientists (Einstein among them), and the gradual realisation that black holes do realy exist. Thorne ponders on several of the ramifications black holes have on our understanding of the universe, not in the least the possibility of time travel. However, science fiction readers will be disapointed to learn why time travel through black holes probably is scientificaly impossible. A very enjoyable and thoughtprovoking text; as with all good books, you loath the moment when you reach the last page. A pity Thorne is a careful, slow writer. An update that brings the subject to the present would be most welcome. (The science in this book is not too difficult, especialy if your interested in this sort of subject. I myself studied history and my physics and mathematics background is poor to say the least. The reader with a physics or mathematics background will find lots of technical detail in the many notes.)
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Format: Paperback
This book is a very readable account of the history of reasearching the very limits of our world - the large (cosmic) and the small (quantum). From Einsteins work on Relativity to the latest research into the physics of black holes and worm holes, this account takes us through the emotions all reasearchers have in their work. The elation of new discoveries and heartache of errors uncovered. From the early years of the big players in the US and USSR - through to thier "grand-child graduates" moving the boundaries of mathematics and physics to new depths. Kip has written a enthralling account behind the mathematical and physical discoveries surrounding the limits of cosmology - black holes, worm holes, and ... time warps(!). From the sci-fi prologue (what is the science and what is the fiction ?), I found this book very difficult to put down. For the lay reader there is very little mathematics and a lot of very good descriptions of all the concepts introduced. An excellent book and highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful introduction

A wonderful introduction to Cosmology told at least partly through the many physicists and astronomers that are behind current theories. It helps that the author, Mr Thorne, is one of the participants.
The book arrived quickly and in good condition. The high quality of this used product and the range of their books makes me feel that they are a company I want to know more about
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Format: Paperback
Kip S.Thorne is one of the three physicists who at 1970 wrote the legendary textbook Gravitation (Physics Series). This was the first book introducing General Relativity with the most modern form of Differential Geometry. He played a major role in most of the scientific discoveries concerning the research on Black Holes and as such he is one of the most eligible and knowledgeable scientist to write a book on this difficult subject.

The writer's depth of knowledge is reviled through his style of writing. He has the pen of a great physicist who dare to successfully popularize some of the most abstract theories of physics and transfer the reader to the magnificent eerie corners of reality which most people ignore. His easygoing style resembles a lot with that of Richard Feynman, one of the greatest physicist and teachers of the 20th century.

This book is a popularized tour through the history, the discoveries, the ideas and the multitude of scientists involved in the research on Black Holes. The first chapter begins with a futuristic expedition of a spaceship with scientists whose aim was the research and close approach study of Black Holes residing inside and far away from our galaxy. This sci-fi introduction is used to ignite the interest of the reader for the strange world and physics of the Black Holes and gives him courage for the long journey and the battles with the abstract ideas lying ahead. The mentality of this introduction is the same with the monumental
...Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This book was my actual first read on physics. That was about 3 years ago, and I haven't stop reading physics since then. Teacher could very well learn from his explaining, just as they would learn by reading ANY Asimov's book. If you like this one, read Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe, never have I read a better explanation of the velocity of light and its consequences!
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Format: Paperback
Kip Thorne is an eccentric author who reveals scientific enterprise of quantum gravity and black holes research in a simple language. This book is rich in history, and classical (Newtonian physics and theory of relativity) and modern physics (quantum mechanics) are presented in non mathematical form. We get rare first hand insights of scientific styles and temperament, and his personal involvement in various aspects of black holes research and his interaction with scientists all over the world especially those from former Soviet Union and the impact of communism on black hole research. The first part of the book describes theory of relativity, concept of spacetime fabric of the universe and curvature of spacetime in presence of matter (stars, galaxies, etc.) to generate gravity. The author gives us a good historical background to build his case for black hole concept. Theory of relativity predicts the existence of black holes but Einstein refused to accept it and so is Arthur Eddington another leading exponent of theory of relativity. The idea of black holes remained in academic obscurity among few who believed in it and it progressively became clear that dying giant stars undergo implosions in which nuclear force the strongest of all four forces of cosmos buckles under gravitational force creating a blackholes. Black holes have been discovered in the center of dying giant stars and in centers of galaxies, and efforts are underway to detect the black hole gravitational waves carried to earth from distant parts of the universe and to seek the secret of what is inside a black hole: a route to another universe?Read more ›
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